During a three-year period to May 2009 and under the guise that he was an investment genius, Gordon A. Driver operated a clever Ponzi scheme that stole $14.3 million from more than 100 people in the U.S. and Canada.
Driver--who lives in Las Vegas and had operations in Mission Viejo and ties to Santa Ana--was terrific at duping investors with false documents and fancy talk that boasted of 43 percent monthly returns, but was in reality a horrible trader who lost money in 94 percent of his moves.
This week, a federal judge in Southern California sided with the United States Futures Trading Commission and handed Driver a whopping bill for his shenanigans: $41.4 million.
U.S. District Court Judge Otis D. Wright, II ordered Driver--who used a majority of the money he stole for a lavish lifestyle that included Las Vegas casino gambling missions--to pay $9.6 million in restitution plus a $31.8 million civil penalty.
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Wright isn't messing around. He expects all of the money to be paid by July 22. I'm guessing the judge is unhappy that Driver continues to show no remorse.
Driver, who was represented unsuccessfully by celebrity defense lawyer Mark Geragos, operated Axcess Automation, LLC and Axcess Fund Management LLC.
I know what you're thinking. A remorseless white collar criminal steals $14 million and never got arrested or spent a minute in jail or an hour in prison. How does that happen?